Senate Inquiry Questions Minister Mena’s Letter on Visas for Five Asians

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Updated: February 9, 2017

Former CEO in the Ministry of Immigration, Candelaria Saldivar Morter was also questioned about a letter sent to the former Immigration Director, Maria Marin by UDP Area Representative Frank “Papa” Mena. The letter contains a list of five Asian nationals who had applied to obtain a visitor’s visa from Belize. Mena states the letter quote, “any assistance rendered to the above named in providing them with the appropriate visa would be appreciated”. End of quote. The visas were approved based on a follow up with former CEO Candelaria Saldivar Morter

MARK LIZARRAGA

“I have in my possession a letter dated July 29 2013 to Mrs.Maria Marin and it has written on the side “Approved for a certain minister as per follow up from CEO Saldivar.” Were you able to approve ?”

CANDELARIA SALDIVAR MORTER

“I cannot approve.”

MARK LIZARRAGA

“So why would this say approved ?”

CANDELARIA SALDIVAR MORTER

“I don’t know what you’re talking about. I cannot approve, the legislation is clear only the director of immigration approves, she approved this letter, she approved the visa.”

MARK LIZARRAGA

“As per your instruction?”

CANDELARIA SALDIVAR MORTER

“No no it did not say that. Let’s not mislead the public. It says “approved for Minister Contreras as per follow up from CEO Saldivar. It did not say that I recommended and I don’t recall what the follow up was but it could be that she had asked for additional information and I provided it for her but it did not say I approved or I recommended it said as per follow up with CEO Saldivar.”

MARK LIZARRAGA

“Okay that is why I asked you because I followed up as well in reference.”

CANDELARIA SALDIVAR MORTER

“And sometimes it was followed up because if Ms.Marin was not satisfied with the application she would indicate that to the Ministry and then we would follow up for her in terms of the additional information she wanted and once we provide that information she would decide whether to approve it or not.”

MARK LIZARRAGA

“Your point was that at the end of the day it is the director that makes the decision.”

CANDELARIA SALDIVAR MORTER

“The director makes the decision the law is clear.”

 

Saldivar Morter has since retired from the public service.